Home > India Pale Ale, Session IPA > O’Hara’s ‘OPsession

O’Hara’s ‘OPsession

Rating: 3.2

Another from a brewery that I frequently pick up new beers from every time I’m over in Ireland, this one being my eighth offering from the brewery and despite occasionally seeing their beers elsewhere on my travels, I believe all of them have been picked up whilst in Ireland. This particular offering is a new session IPA from the Carlow Brewing Company, having only been introduced around May this year and another that falls under their O’Hara’s banner. The beer is one of four new offerings from the brewery that I picked up on my recent trip to Ireland, the others being a wheat ale, a red IPA and a white IPA that reviews of will follow shortly. Despite not being much of a fan of session IPA’s, this one was probably the one I had highest hopes for before trying any of the new O’Hara’s beers but as it turned out, both of the other two ended up being better beers but here’s what I thought of this one anyway.

O'Hara's 'OPsession

Appearance (4/5): Quite a dark, almost caramel amber colour that had a fairly clear body and was topped with a centimetre and a half tall head that was creamy looking and white in colour. Initially the head held pretty well with not much reduction in size whilst leaving a touch of lacing on the sides of the glass before it eventually turned into a thick looking lacing after a couple of minutes. It was a nice looking beer overall and one that I didn’t expect to be quite as dark as it was either.
Aroma (6/10): Pine hops and oils kick things off here but it’s definitely a more subdued nose than I’d been expecting, even taking into consideration that it’s a session IPA. There was some nice biscuit malts and a faint caramel nose with touches of bitterness as well and all of these seeming slightly more pronounced than the hops. It seemed very English IPA in style with an earthy nose and a touch of spice nearer the end.
Taste (6/10): Thankfully the taste was a little more hoppy than the nose and came through with some pine and citrus flavours early on but in truth neither were as strong as I’d have liked. There was some herbal touches with a bit of earthy malt bitterness coming through from the nose and this again seemed the dominant characteristic of the beer. Towards the end some grassy flavours and a touch of grapefruit appears, as did some orange but it was the malts that seemed strongest sadly.
Palate (3/5): Medium bodied and quite tangy thanks to the citrus that featured throughout, there was an oily feel to the beer from the hops and carbonation wise it sat somewhere around light-medium. The beer was a dry one nearer the end and it seemed earthy with a moderate bitterness throughout; quite a difference from the hop-bomb I’d hoped for.

Overall (12/20): Another O’Hara’s beer and sadly it isn’t one of their better offering really, although I might have guessed as much given it was labelled as a new session IPA from the brewery; to be honest, I’d probably describe it as an English style IPA myself. Overall the beer was quite a subdued and almost weak offering that opened with some pine and citrus but neither seemed particularly pronounced or noticeable. In fairness, I managed to finish the beer without too many problems but it just didn’t seem to be one that I particularly enjoyed; perhaps if it had been presented as an English pale ale or IPA then I might have enjoyed it more but as it stands, it was a pretty poor session IPA and one I’ll likely avoid in future.

Brewed In: Muine Bheag, County Carlow, Ireland
Brewery: Carlow Brewing Company
First Brewed: 2016
Type: Session IPA
Abv: 4.0%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Reilly’s (Lisnaskea)
Price: £2.29

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  1. August 3, 2016 at 09:04
  2. August 3, 2016 at 09:05
  3. August 9, 2016 at 08:10

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